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Weekly News Digest

September 16, 2002 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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NLM Launches MEDLINEplus in Spanish

The National Library of Medicine has announced that it has released a Spanish version ( of its MEDLINEplus health Web site. According to the announcement, recent surveys show that more than 50 percent of adult Hispanics in the U.S. use the Internet, and half look to the Web for medical and health information.

Hundreds of topics in Spanish will point users to information from the National Institutes of Health and other federal government agencies, professional medical associations, and health-related organizations. On the medical encyclopedia pages, full-color illustrations and photographs accompany more than 4,000 articles on diseases, injuries, tests, and surgeries. The interactive health tutorials, which are narrated guides to various health topics, use animated illustrations and plain language to describe medical procedures, surgeries, and the symptoms and effects of disease.

Non-Spanish-speaking doctors, nurses, librarians, and others looking for Spanish-language materials for their clients can also use this new service. A single click of the Español link will take users from the English MEDLINEplus page to its corresponding Spanish page.

MEDLINEplus (, which debuted in October 1998 with just 22 topics, now has extensive information from the National Institutes of Health and other sources on more than 560 health topics. The site receives more than 1 million visitors a month. MEDLINEplus is updated daily and is available 24/7 for no charge. There is no advertising on this site, nor does MEDLINEplus endorse any company or product.

Source: National Library of Medicine

Gale Releases Biography Resource Center 2.0

Gale Group has announced the release of Biography Resource Center 2.0, a Web resource for information about notable people. According to the company, version 2.0 has a streamlined interface that's designed to make navigating the rich content faster and easier.

The new interface returns results as a series of tabs that allow users to select the type of information they want. They can choose from classic reference (such as biographical essays), magazine articles (all full text and updated daily), thumbnails with just the facts, or Web sites (a total of 9,000 handpicked links that are woven throughout the Resource Center). The tab format is consistent with other Gale Resource Centers.

While the Name Search on the product's home page provides a quick search, more experienced researchers can use the Advanced Search option, which allows Boolean searches by keyword, source, or full text. Users can also select Biographical Facts Search, which allows searching based on life details—occupation, gender, birth/death date, or place—rather than just names. Additionally, version 2.0's search options remain constant throughout the session so users have more flexibility to narrow or broaden their criteria.

Content has continuously expanded since Biography Resource Center's launch in 1998, with coverage now including more than 220,000 notable people. A partnership with Marquis Who's Who provides an additional 1 million thumbnail biographies. According to the company, the product continues to be one of the most popular Resource Centers for academic and public libraries.

Source: Gale Group

FAST Now Searches Macromedia Flash Content

Fast Search & Transfer (FAST; has announced that Macromedia Flash content and applications can now be searched by users of its site. These users can now further refine their searches in Macromedia Flash content and applications through the site's Advanced Features functions ( This functionality will automatically be made available to FAST's portal partners, such as InfoSpace, Lycos, T-Online, and Tiscali, as well as to the customers who use these portals.

FAST claims to be the first major Web search technology provider to offer searching of Macromedia Flash content and applications. AllTheWeb delivers search results from over 2.1 billion Web pages and integrates them with breaking news results from thousands of news sources and hundreds of millions of image, video, MP3, and software files, all within a single results page.

Source: Fast Search & Transfer

Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli
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